04 February 2016

Bell Bay Aluminium to temporarily reduce power consumption

Bell Bay Aluminium (BBA) has announced that the smelter will reduce power consumption by around 10% (between 30-40 megawatts) for up to four to five months, commencing today.

BBA General Manager Ray Mostogl said: "Tasmania currently faces a challenging time due to the combination of historically low dam storage levels, the lowest spring rainfall on record and the extended outage of the Basslink cable.

"We have reached an agreement with Hydro Tasmania on the best energy savings measure we can provide to assist with managing Tasmania's energy security during this difficult time.

"BBA has more than 60 years of history with Hydro Tasmania. As the State's largest consumer of electricity we have been in negotiations with Hydro since the Basslink outage occurred to ensure this measure minimises the impact on the smelter's viability.

"We are not planning on reducing our permanent workforce numbers however a reduction in power consumption will have some impact on production, and potentially to the number of contractors working on site during this period.

"We will work with our national and international customers, Hydro Tasmania, State Government, suppliers and the local community to minimise any impact. Potentially there may be redeployment opportunities available for some contractors from BBA to support Hydro Tasmania with work on additional generation assets."

In the event that this situation materially changes, BBA will issue a further update.

Background information:

  • BBA is located on the Tamar River near George Town in Northern Tasmania.
  • BBA holds a unique place in Tasmanian and Australian history, becoming the first aluminium smelter in the southern hemisphere when it began production on 23 September, 1955.
  • BBA makes a significant economic and social contribution to Tasmania's economy.
  • Independent studies have found that BBA directly and indirectly, employs approximately 1500 Tasmanians and contributes $690M annually to Tasmania's Gross State Product
  • Annual production in 2015: 190,000 tonnes
  • In 2015 BBA spent $160M with 323 local suppliers
  • In 2015 BBA paid$47M in salaries to our employees